“Twenty years ago, there were only five cars on this street — and they belonged to store owners,” said Bubba O’Keefe, on the somewhat busier streets of Clarksdale, Mississippi he helped animate.
Bubba’s grandfather was once mayor of this Delta town of 16,000. For the past 20 years he has been buying old-brick buildings downtown, betting blues lovers from around the world will trek 80 miles south of Graceland.
“My wife wasn’t afraid of another woman,” he says. “She was afraid I’d come home with another building.”
Other investors – actor Morgan Freeman, Seattle tech CEOs, New Zealand entrepreneurs – are developing restaurants, chocolate stores and juke joints.